Friday, 21 June 2013

The Peace Tree
Plant, Play, Explore, Celebrate!

The Spark:
The next time you leave your home for some destination, say when you go to school, count how many trees exist between your house and that destination.  How many did you count?  Trees play a very important role in our planet's life support system.  Whether your neck of the woods have a few of them or many, trees are the key to the health of the environment around us.  Trees provide food and shelter for many animals and insects, they reduce air pollution, reduce soil erosion, reduce air conditioning costs by providing shade in the summer, filter underground water, screen noise, and stabilize soil, and provide a place of peace and relaxation just to name a few.  So, to begin this quest find a tree and spend some time sitting underneath it.  Have a picnic, read a book,  write in your diary, or just sit and take in a few deep breaths courtesy of your nearby trees!

Now that you've spent some time underneath, beside, and among the trees, you may be inspired and eager to start this Peace Tree Quest!  You will need the help of an adult for this as well as some equipment.  Calling all Super Natural Superheroes to ACTIVATE!  Are you interested in planting, playing, exploring, and celebrating around your new neighbourhood tree?  Let's explore our neighbourhoods to find a spot to plant just one more tree.  Remember: If the location of your tree is not on your property, then you must obtain permission to plant it.  As always, before starting your quest you need to ask yourself why?  If you like your answer, then you may begin.

Start Your Quest:
Why:  To find a spot in your neighbourhood to add just one more tree.  
What:  To plant a tree, play, explore, and celebrate around it.
Where:  In your neighbourhood.
When:  As soon as you can get yourself organized.
Who:  You, your family, and friends.
How:  Find out below.  It's a S.N.CH., or is it?

Take Action: 

1. Geolocate Your Neighbourhood:
Locate your neighbourhood on Google Maps and look at how densely it is planted with trees.  What you are looking at is referred to as the urban forest.  It is your neighbourhood and it's nearby patches of nature.  Randomly compare other neighbourhoods in different parts of the world to yours.  How does your neighbourhood compare?   Can you locate a potential spot for just one more tree to be planted in your neighbourhood?

2. Organize a Tree Planting:
If your tree planting is not on your own property, organize it through your local parks and forestry department.  They will provide you with the appropriate information that you will need for your area.

3.  Plant Your Peace Tree:
Watch the video below and follow the steps on the chart to discover how to properly plant a small tree.

The Peace Tree- How to Plant a Tree

Instructions on How to Plant a Tree

4.  Designate Your Tree as a Peace Tree and Celebrate:
Hold a community ribbon cutting ceremony to inaugurate your community peace tree.  Spend some time with your tree and encourage others to do the same.  Make the space around the tree a place of peace.  Write in your diary, read a book, daydream, celebrate milestones, breath in some fresh air, and appreciate all the things trees do for us.

5.  Make a Tree Bracelet:
Use a piece of clay to make a bracelet that fits around your tree.  Each child should take a peace of clay to make the bracelet part and then place each piece around the tree's mulch to mark the tree as a special PEACE site.  Use clay to make small charms that represent peace, nature, trees, love and sculpt small charm symbols of how trees benefit us.

6.  Be a Good Stewart of the Earth:
Return the favour.  Rally your community to take care of the tree in return for all that the tree does for us and the planet.  It needs two gallons of water, twice a week.  Research as much as you can about your tree to learn what it needs in order to thrive.

Don't Stop Here:
Keep on researching and finding out more about trees.  Who knows, they may become one of your great passions in life.  Don't forget, if you have a hunch about something just drop us an email and we'll  give you hunch a whirl and get back to you.

Quest Check:
We are very interested in keeping you interested in finding out more about nature.  Keep checking back with us on a regular basis to see if your interests match our quests.  

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